Best known for his sitcom roles in Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi and Charles in Charge, actor Scott Baio has been happily married since 2007. But his wife Renee recently disclosed some sad news about her health that will affect their lives for good. Here’s a look at the former stuntwoman’s revelation.
Born in Brooklyn in 1960, Scott Baio first came to attention in his mid-teens when he played the titular gangster in Alan Parker’s much-loved 1976 kids’ musical, Bugsy Malone. A year later he landed the role of Chachi Arcola, the cousin of The Fonz, on classic sitcom, Happy Days. What’s more, that character was so popular with audiences that he was later given his own spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi.
Baio picked up two Emmy nods, too, for his work in TV movies Stones and All the Kids Do It. He’s also appeared in big-screen comedy Zapped!, briefly moonlighted as a recording artist and became a regular on Battle of the Network Stars. And in 1984 he took center stage as the titular college student in CBS sitcom Charles in Charge; the show ran until 1990.
Baio remained busy throughout the 1990s, though. Most notably, he starred alongside Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Jack Stewart in long-running medical mystery Diagnosis: Murder. During the decade, however, he also guested on The Nanny and Can’t Hurry Love, appeared in TV movie Danielle Steel’s Mixed Blessings and played James Halbrook in the second season of Baby Talk.
Meanwhile, in the ’00s Baio appeared as himself in Wes Craven horror Cursed, received awards attention for his performance in romance The Bread, My Sweet and fronted two VH1 reality shows. He also portrayed Bob Loblaw, the Bluth family’s overpaid attorney, in the critically acclaimed comedy Arrested Development. Then in 2012 he returned to the sitcom world as the star of Nick at Nite’s See Dad Run.
Furthermore, Baio worked behind the scenes on many of his acting projects. He directed 36 episodes of Charles in Charge, for instance, as well as co-writing Face to Face and co-producing Very Mean Men. Baio also helped to develop Confessions of a Teen Idol, the VH1 reality series, which he hosted alongside Jason Hervey.
More recently, though, Baio has courted attention for his strong political views. In 2016 he even went so far as to speak at the first night of the Republican National Convention. Then, a year later, he got into hot water for retweeting a meme supporting the Sandy Hook shooting conspiracy. He also once clashed with a fellow parent at a school gathering with his kids because he backs Donald Trump.
But Baio also made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2013 when a former co-star accused him of sexual misconduct. While appearing on the Nik Richie Radio Show, Nicole Eggert claimed she’d had underage sex with a much older Baio. The allegations resurfaced in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but Baio strongly denied any wrongdoing, describing Eggert’s accusations as “complete lies.”
And Baio has also been accused of abusing a child star on the set of Charles in Charge. Alexander Polinsky has alleged that Baio acted like a “tyrant” during his time on the hit ’80s sitcom, regularly subjecting the then-12-year-old to homophobic abuse. Polinsky also claimed that Baio threw hot drinks at him, repeatedly told him he was defective and mocked his genitals in front of the cast and crew.
Meanwhile, in 2017 Baio was criticized for his response to the death of his Joanie Loves Chachi co-star Erin Moran. That year, the actor told New York radio station WABC when asked about her passing, “If you do drugs or drink, you’re going to die.” An autopsy report on Moran proved that the late star had died of complications from throat cancer, however, and she had had no illegal substances in her system.
Baio had known Moran well, though, as the pair had dated during their early 1980s heyday. Then, in the early ’00s, the actor got engaged to Jeanette Jonsson, although the two split before walking down the aisle. Baio would eventually tie the knot, however, to former stuntwoman Renee Sloan in 2007. The couple had first met back in the 1990s at the Playboy Mansion, where Sloan was working as a Playboy Playmate.
Renee also fell pregnant with twins the same year that she and Baio married; sadly, one of the babies died in the third month of gestation. Their surviving daughter, Bailey, was born five weeks premature and was later falsely diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder. As a result, her parents founded the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation to financially help families dealing with similar conditions.
Then, three years after Bailey’s birth, Renee was forced to undergo three lumpectomies after discovering that she was in the initial stages of breast cancer. Thankfully, the operations proved to be successful. But just five years later, Renee was dealt another devastating blow when doctors found that she had a brain tumor.
And although Renee’s type of tumor is normally benign, its growth can cause major – sometimes fatal – problems down the line. So, as with their daughter’s medical scare, the Baios decided to tackle the condition head on. In a 2015 post on Facebook, Baio revealed that with 6,500 people developing this type of tumor each year, he wanted to “help educate others to get checked out.”
Renee also came out fighting, telling People magazine in 2015, “God does not challenge weak people – he has laid this upon me and I’m not going to question it.” She also discussed how her religious beliefs had been a source of strength while speaking to Entertainment Tonight that same year. “I will tell you my faith in God is greater than the fear of the unknown,” she said.
Unfortunately, though, Renee’s health problems didn’t end there. In 2017, for example, she revealed on Twitter that she’d been diagnosed with microvascular brain disease – a condition that affects the brain’s small blood vessels. According to Healthline, the disease may lead to mental decline, walking and balance problems and even strokes and dementia if left untreated.
Renee decided to share the news after being asked by a follower about her health. And Baio also took to the same social media platform to share his thoughts about his wife’s diagnosis. “Unfortunately this is true. Renee is forever my rock, my life & my soulmate! Toughest person I know,” he wrote.
Shortly after the relevation, Baio also told The Blast that his wife’s former profession might be responsible for her numerous health problems. Indeed, Renee suffered a severe brain injury in 1992 after a jet ski accident during her stint as a professional stuntwoman. But it’s not yet known whether her tumors and newly diagnosed disease are as a result of this injury.
Baio then discussed the major changes that Renee would have to make to her lifestyle to help beat the disease. “All we know is she must live as stress-free, depression free and anxiety-free life as possible and get a good amount of sleep each night,” he said. “This new disease can cause strokes and dementia.”
Renee herself has remained a prolific Twitter user since revealing the news about her disease on the social media platform. Subsequent posts have seen her argue against the calls for tighter gun control, pledge her support for the Roseanne reboot and criticize Jimmy Kimmel. Perhaps, then, in time, she’ll tell the world some good news about her health, too.